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Electronic Music

JB | Oktober 7, 2023

Electronic music has a rich and diverse history that spans over a century. Here’s an overview of its key developments and milestones:

1. Early Experiments (Late 19th to Early 20th Century):
– The earliest electronic music experiments date back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries with inventors and composers like Thaddeus Cahill and Luigi Russolo.
– Thaddeus Cahill developed the Telharmonium, an early electronic instrument capable of generating music through oscillators and telephone lines.
– Luigi Russolo’s “The Art of Noises” manifesto in 1913 promoted the use of noise and industrial sounds in music.

2. The Emergence of Electronic Instruments (1920s-1930s):
– Instruments like the Theremin (invented by Léon Theremin), Ondes Martenot, and Trautonium introduced new sound possibilities.
– Pierre Schaeffer’s musique concrète experiments in France involved manipulating recorded sounds.

3. Tape Music and Studio Techniques (1940s-1950s):
– Musicians and composers like Pierre Schaeffer, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and Pierre Henry used tape recorders and studio techniques to create electronic music.
– The development of the first commercial synthesizer, the RCA Mark II, in the late 1950s, marked a significant milestone.

4. The Moog Synthesizer and Popularization (1960s):
– Robert Moog’s invention of the Moog synthesizer in the mid-1960s revolutionized electronic music.
– Wendy Carlos’s album “Switched-On Bach” in 1968, featuring the Moog synthesizer, brought electronic music to the mainstream.

5. Progressive Rock and Krautrock (Late 1960s-1970s):
– Bands like Pink Floyd and Tangerine Dream incorporated electronic elements into rock music.
– In Germany, the Krautrock movement emerged with groups like Kraftwerk, who had a profound influence on electronic music.

6. Disco and Synth-Pop (Late 1970s-1980s):
– Disco music and the use of synthesizers became widespread in the late 1970s.
– The rise of synth-pop bands like Depeche Mode and New Order popularized electronic music in the 1980s.

Written by JB


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